Graduate Professional Development Program Survey: Towards a National Strategy
Université de Sherbrooke
Office responsible for graduate development programs:
Centre universitaire d?enrichissement de la formation Ü la recherche (CUEFR). The CUEFR promotes interdisciplinarity?: all courses are given to students from every faculty of the Universit_ de Sherbrooke (not on a faculty basis). The CUEFR promotes integration: general skill training is coupled to the student?s research project and his research environment. The CUEFR promotes reflexivity: interactions and discussions between students and teachers develop the ability to think about research training and about the ways of doing science.
Claude Asselin/Nathalie C?t_
Name of program:
CUEFR is responsible for two programs:1) One ? Microprogramme d?enrichissement des comp_tences en recherche À, 15 credits (no time limits); for students holding a Ph.D. or for doctoral students. 2) Four û dipl?mes de troisi§me cycle de perfectionnement en rechercheË (scientific career in academia, in industry, in public or parapublic organization and in non-governmental organisation; 32 credits (4 trimesters) for each diploma with 6-8 credits from CUEFR; for postdoctoral students.
Social media accounts related to program:
We have not yet a social media account. This is expected in the next year.
Who is responsible for updating information for websites?
Update of the Web site is done by CUEFR, in collaboration with the ûService des technologies de l?informationË.
Graduate Professional Development Programs
What sessions are available, in person or online? (workshops, webinars, blog, etc.)
The CUEFR has been established in 2009 to improve general skills for students from three Faculties (Engineering, Sciences and Medicine and Health Sciences). Now, CUEFR training courses are offered to students from eight faculties. As CUEFR promotes interdisciplinary interactions, in person sessions (courses) are favored. However, students from outside Sherbrooke may assist to courses by WebEx. We have not yet online courses. In the next few years, CUEFR may develop ûflipped classroomsË for sought-after courses, thus a mix of online and in class activitie. The courses are given during the fall and winter trimesters. Courses during the summer trimester are expected. Courses are from 2 to 4 credits. Each course is composed of 4 to 10 3-hour workshops. Two workshops or one workshop may be given a day. Workshops are given in a four-month trimester period (about one set of workshop each month).
Are there sessions specifically for international students?
We do not offer specific sessions (courses) to international students per se. However, since an important proportion of international postdoctoral students do not speak French (50%), the CUEFR is offering a few courses in English, or bilingual courses. The number of these courses should increase in the next few years, as we expect an important increase in the number of postdoctoral students.
Are there mentorship or internships opportunities included in the program?
There are no mentorship or internship opportunities in the program. However, the CUEFR is considering the possibility of offering a course for postdoctoral students on ûSupervising a traineeË. In one part of this course, a professor-mentor would follow a postdoctoral student during his supervision of a trainee.
What skills or competencies do the sessions focus on?
There are three types of skills and competencies for the sessions (courses), namely scientific skills, personal skills and professional skills.
List sessions by topic and identify those in highest demand.
In bold: highest demand
Courses for all students (doctoral and postdoctoral)
EFD901/911 G_rer la recherche et l?innovation (how to manage research and innovation); 4 credits; in French and in English; two-three times a year.
EFD904 R_diger et publier un article scientifique (how to write and publish a scientific paper); 3 credits; in French and in English; two-three times a year.
EFD906 Financer strat_giquement sa recherche (how to finance research); 3 credits; in French (expected in English); one-two times a year.
EFD907 Communiquer avec les experts et les m_dias (how to communicate with experts, journalists and the public); 3 credits; in French; once a year.
EFD910 Prot_ger et valoriser le savoir (how to protect intellectual property and enhance knowledge translation); 4 credits; in French; once a year.
EFD912 Entrepreneuriat et recherche scientifique (entrepreneurship and scientific research); 3 credits; in French (expected in English); one-two times a year.
EFD921 Int_grer l?_thique en recherche (Research ethics); 3 credits; in French; once a year.
EFD922 Prendre en main sa carri§re de recherche (how to prepare and choose a future career); 3 credits; in French; once a year.
EPU960 Enseigner au sup_rieur (how to teach at the graduate level); 3 credits; in French; three times a year.
Courses only for postdoctoral students:
EFP973; Enjeux contemporains et recherche transdisciplinaire I (Issues in science and transdisciplinary research); 2 credits; bilingual; two-three times a year.
EFP974 Enjeux contemporains et recherche transdisciplinaire II (Issues in science and transdisciplinary research); 2 credits; bilingual; once a year.
Courses expected :
EFP971 Çvaluer en contexte universitaire (how to evaluate grants and people); 3 credits; for postdoctoral students.
EFP977 Internationalisation et gestion de la diversit_ (how to cope with people from all over the world); 3 credits; for postdoctoral students; bilingual; to supervise and evaluate students); 2 credits; for postdoctoral students.
EFPYYY Concepts nouveaux en recherche (new frontiers of research); 1 credit; for postdoctoral students.
EFPZZZ Carri§re universitaire (career in academia); 2 credits; for postdoctoral students.
EFD914 G_rer un _quipe de recherche (how to manage a team); 2 credits; for doctoral and postdoctoral students.
EFD915 Analyse critique de la litt_rature et gestion de la documentation (how to interrogate scientific journal databases); 1 credit; for doctoral and postdoctoral students.
EFDXXX Introduction intuitive aux statistiques de base pour une carri§re en recherche (how to handle properly statistics in research); 2 credits; for doctoral and postdoctoral students.
Who is eligible for sessions? (students, postdocs, alumni, etc.)
Doctoral and postdoctoral students, research assistants and professors are eligible for courses of the microprogramme (EFD or EPU). Postdoctoral students are also eligible for courses labelled EFP.
Are professional development programs mandatory for students to graduate; or are they part of a student-supervisor checklist?
The course EFD901/911 is mandatory for first-year doctoral students from the Faculty of engineering. A maximum of 6 to 8 credits from CUEFR is mandatory for each diploma, for postdoctoral students. Postdoctoral students choose the courses with their supervisor, as part of their training programme. Otherwise, courses from CUEFR are chosen on an individual basis.
Does the program offer academic credit or formal recognition (badges, certificates, etc.) to participants?
The courses are credited. Thus, the students have full recognition of the courses they follow by the Universit_ de Sherbrooke, with an official transcript. Doctoral students who obtain 15 credits will earn an official recognition for the microprogramme, and postdoctoral students who earn 32 credits will earn an official recognition for the diploma.
Who develops and delivers the sessions? (graduate studies, other departments, students, professors, alumni, external organizations, etc.)
Courses are given by expert professors from many faculties (engineering, administration, lettres et sciences humaines, medicine and health sciences, education, science) as well as teaching assistants with expertise in general skill training. Many guest speakers from academia, industry or government are invited. Courses are developed by professors from different faculties, based on student?s needs recognized by CUEFR. For example, EFP973 was developed by two professors from the faculties of engineering and medicine, EFP977 by professors from the Facult_ des lettres et sciences humaines, EFP912 by a professor from the Faculty of administration/management.
How are the sessions promoted?
The CUEFR promotes the courses before each trimester by sending e-mails directly to doctoral and postdoctoral students. Faculties also inform their students through faculty bulletins and through department and program directors.
How do participants register? (through a centralized system or a partner company)
Participants register directly to CUEFR or through their faculties. This information is passed along to CUEFR. CUEFR is then responsible for informing students about course rooms, hours and times. All subsequent information for every course in on Moodle, which is used as a site of discussion and information. All homework from students and evaluation or comments on their work by teachers are deposited on Moodle.
Is there additional cost or fees for registrants?
Tuition fees are payed by the Universit_ de Sherbrooke.
Students have to be present for workshops covering 80% of the course. If they attend to less than 80% of the workshops for one course, they can be asked to follow the missing workshop in the following course, to earn the credits. Participation is tracked by a list of presence (at the start of each workshop) as well as by the homework deposited on the course site on Moodle.
Is there information available to measure the effectiveness of attending sessions and securing employment after graduation?
We do not have the information yet on whether the CUEFR courses really help to obtain adequate employment after graduation. This is really an important question. We hope to be able, next year, to prepare a continuous survey, in order to reach every student who followed CUEFR courses in years to come. These data will be very important to us.
Do departments offer professional development programs internally? If so, which?
To my knowledge, some departments and programs at the B.Sc. and graduate levels offer structured and short workshops on writing or some other general skills on a regular basis. For example, a series of workshops for M.Sc. students at the Faculty of medicine, or at the Faculty of sciences for students in plant science (from a FONCER grant). There are also the MITACS training sessions. However, most departments have no organized professional development programs: once a while, a workshop is prepared, but not on a regular basis. Many faculties, programs and departments organize career days. In short, while the CUEFR offers the most general skill formations on a regular basis, there is no way actually to know what is being done in the faculties/departments/programs. This lack of information and the sharing of this information is a concern which will be probably addressed by the Universit_ de Sherbrooke.
Are there collaborative offerings between departments and the graduate professional development program office?
I discussed about this in the section Who develops and delivers the sessions? Indeed, all courses at the CUEFR are the results of collaboration with Faculties. CUEFR is also involved, as a collaborator, in the establishment of some general skill training program, for example at the Faculty of Sciences. These programs and CUEFR are complementary.
Do you incorporate labor market information and outcomes into the development of specific components of graduate professional development programs?
While we do not incorporate labor market information and outcomes directly, CUEFR, through regular surveys of student?s needs and of our own monitoring of the best practices in other universities, always try to improve and to get the best training for students.
Do you incorporate strategies for developing positive relationships with employers?
We do not yet incorporate these strategies. However, many guests in our courses are from different working backgrounds and environments (academia, industry, government, etc.). Their interest in CUEFR is astounding, and we have no difficulties to find experts from outside the university.
Is there any additional information you would like to share?
Canadian Association for Graduate Studies
The Canadian Association for Graduate Studies (CAGS) was founded in 1962 to promote graduate education and university research through meetings, publications and advocacy. The Association brings together 58 Canadian universities with graduate programs and the three federal research-granting agencies, as well as other institutions and organizations having an interest in graduate studies.